Article Title

Synthesis of zeolite A using the waste of iron mine tailings dam and its application for industrial effluent treatment

Author ORCID Identifier

Juliana de Carvalho Izidoro 0000-0002-3466-5196

Amilton Barbosa Botelho Junior 0000-0002-3421-6286

Jorge Alberto Soares Tenório 0000-0002-7849-7470

Denise Crocce Romano Espinosa 0000-0003-2359-9485


In November 2015, a dam from iron mining collapsed, which is considered as the largest environmental accident in Brazil. Over than 50 million m³ were released reaching the Doce River and killed 20 people in Mariana. The literature review shows that the mining tailings can be used as raw material to the synthesis of zeolites, which can be used for the wastewater treatment. The aim of this work was the synthesis of zeolites from the Samarco tailings and its application for the treatment of electroplating effluent. The residue was characterized which identified high-iron content for the synthesis of zeolites. The residue was mixed with NaOH (1:1) and the reaction temperature was evaluated from 350 °C to 650 °C. Then, the material was mixed with aluminum source and the effect of time was evaluated. The zeolite was applied to the wastewater treatment from electroplating industry. Results showed that the synthesis of zeolite A was carried out with a fusion step at 450 °C for 1 h using RAS: NaOH ratio 1:1, and further hydrothermal treatment at 100 °C during 4 h. The zinc removal from the wastewater was up to 98% using 50 mL of the solution, 2.5 g zeolite A, 60min and pH 6.4. The main metals presented in the solution were adsorbed up to 90% by the zeolite synthesized. Zinc adsorption by the zeolite fitted better on Langmuir isotherm. The zeolite was used four times in a row and zinc removal declined 98–68%.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.